How to Write a Scholarship Essay with Examples [2023 edition]

How to Write a Scholarship Essay with Examples [2023 edition]

Uploaded on
Nov 27, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 11, 2023
Uploaded on
Nov 27, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 11, 2023
How to write a scholarship essay
This is your time to shine!

Looking for ways to fund your study abroad dream? We get it! Everybody has dreams, but only some have the funds to pursue further education. You can apply to various scholarships available to fund your dreams; with your scholarship application, you also have to send a scholarship essay as to why you need the scholarship. To help you out, we have made the ultimate guide on what you need to know about writing a scholarship essay; let's get started!

What is a Scholarship Essay?

In a scholarship essay, you explain and persuade the committee members why you deserve financial aid. This essay is submitted with the scholarship application, and it is your one opportunity to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for scholarships.

Furthermore, these scholarships are typically provided by individual organisations. They intend to provide financial assistance to support your education. So it is recommended to write essays that reflect the writer's beliefs and match the organisation's interests.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay?

Looking for a perfect approach to writing a scholarship essay? Truth be told, you will not find it. Just make sure that your essay provides insight into your vision and experience, which ultimately defines you and your passion for your study subject. Here are a few points to note

Have an Engaging Start

Have questions about where to start? Try including a quote or phrase related to your planned course that you may later introduce in the essay. Giving an idea about your interest in the subject will persuade the committee. Showing a broader understanding of your subject can assist persuade the judges to provide you with the financial aid you need. 

Know Your Target Audience

Your target audience, in this case, is the scholarship committee; you need to understand their requirement and expectations. Find out their ideal prospect and make sure you fit into that vision. Make a list of key points you want to include in your essay. You don't have to give up your vision; modify your essay to fit their parameters.

Read the Scholarship Essay Prompts Thoroughly

The first step before beginning an essay is to read the scholarship essay prompts thoroughly. The candidate must comply with the appropriate scholarship essay prompts structure and word count. Also, double-check that you are simply replying to all prompt sections.

Research about the Scholarship Provider

Read about the corporation or organisation in charge of the scholarship programme. You will find their mission and requirements on their website. This can help you customise your essay according to their needs. Learn about their mission and why they are offering this award. Many scholarship sponsors also showcase former scholarship winners on their websites, often with the winning essay. Examine what the scholarship provider says about prior winners to determine which of your qualities to emphasise in your essay.

Authenticity is your Power

Your life and experiences are essential and significant! You are not required to fabricate or invent details to appear more deserving of the scholarship money. Your authenticity is your power; use it for your gain. It is recommended to show and not tell, as it is evident for the readers to spot such things. Instead of just explaining everything, try constructing a vivid image for the reader. Don't just claim you're stressed out because you're juggling employment and high school; make a mental image and provide clear credible instances.

Applying overseas? Check out our blogs on student scholarships in Australia, Ireland and US.

Scholarship Essay Format

Fonts to use for Scholarship Essay

For your essay, stick to a consistent professional style and your scholarship essay format. This includes 1-inch page margins, a 12-point font size double-spaced, and a "standard" script like Times New Roman in classic black. Don't experiment with fonts or colours here. You want the content of your essay to stand out, not your unconventional formatting.

Scholarship Essay Title

The essay submission format determines this. You can copy and paste the body of your essay without a title if there is a text box entry. If you attach an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can include a title, although this is usually unnecessary unless there are specific scholarship essay format rules. Also, there is no need to add the essay question or prompt at the top of your essay.

Scholarship Essay Structure


The scholarship essay format first needs to draw the audience in with a catchy beginning line relating to the question. Introduce your significant points, which you will discuss later in your essay. Include a strong point that proves your determination and drive to attend college.


Extend your critical points in the scholarship essay format. Support your claims with proof, examples, and facts. This is the section where you can tell the committee how you got to where you are now, what inspired your hobbies, interests, or desire to attend college, and how the scholarship will help you reach your academic and/or personal goals. Remember to utilise specifics instead of broad remarks.


Describe how earning this award might help you achieve your goals and have a broader community impact if any. Explain how critical this scholarship is to you, not only financially but also in terms of helping you reach your goals.

Liking the blog so far? Check out our other blogs on thesis statements and personal statements with examples.

Scholarship Essay Examples

However, many overlook that receiving many minor scholarship applications can be life-changing. The scholarship essay examples below can help you move from planning to living your college and professional goals.

1. This scholarship essay example is from the New York University College of Arts and Science essay.

"Although I agree that I will never be able to support myself only via ice skating, the education and talents I have obtained have opened endless avenues. Ice skating has given me the work ethic, resilience and inspiration to grow as a teacher and English speaker. It has helped my academic performance by instilling in me the importance of rhythm, health, and routine. It also reminds me that a passion does not have to generate money to be valuable. Painting, on the other hand, reminds me to be daring and patient with my forms of self-expression. I'm not sure what I'll be living off of day to day as I age, but the skills my passions have given me are life-long and invaluable."

2. This scholarship essay example is an excerpt from North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship winning essay.

"My parents pushed me to respect school when I was five years old because they were born in Vietnam and had limited access to education. Because of this disadvantage, I learnt to take everything seriously and to give everything I had to fulfil projects like founding my school's Badminton Club in my fresher year and Red Cross Club this year. The more I got involved, the more I grew as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I acted the same way I did with my younger cousins and sibling. My family members emphasised the necessity of being a positive influence; as I adopted this conduct, I used it in my leadership roles. I learned to be a good role model by teaching my younger family members correct etiquette and guiding them academically so that they might succeed."

3. This scholarship essay example is an excerpt from Fund for Education abroad Rainbow Scholarship winning essay.

"My life objective is to make films that transform how society perceives groups of people, often defined by stereotypes and clichés. Through the American Institute of Foreign Studies' year-long programme in Prague, I will obtain the cinematic and philosophical tools to create films that will assist others in better comprehending the LGBTQ community. I've been producing videos since I could wield a camera, but I'd like to take it a step further now.."

4. This scholarship essay example is an excerpt from an essay prompt, "why do you want to go to college?"

"It makes sense to attend college. College education has proven its importance in my family, from assisting my parents in finding steady positions after moving to America to providing my brother with the opportunity to obtain work experience at some of the best financial firms. Yet, until I attended high school, I had no idea what went on inside the mythical universities. Applying to the Math, Science, and Engineering Academy was the first time I actively made a decision about my education. I applied with the assistance of my parents and favourite science teacher, who saw that I would thrive in the tough environment of like-minded students. I can confidently tell they were correct four years later."

5. This scholarship essay example is an excerpt from an essay prompt, "Write about your hopes for the future of women and girls worldwide."

"I met a woman who lived in the same building as my aunt while helping. She struggled to get by every day, unemployed with two young children and a husband working minimum wage at a fast food restaurant. I reflected that many people in my town are like her. Then I realised there was something I could do to help. How? I can start a financial literacy programme for Hispanic women to teach them how to earn and manage money. When a woman becomes financially literate, she is capable of making sound personal and professional decisions, allowing her to improve the financial well-being of her family. Furthermore, such a programme will assist Hispanic women in becoming competitive employees, even in a slow-recovering economy like the one we are currently experiencing."

Scholarship Essay Prompts

Some of the standard scholarship essay prompts and topics are given below.

1. My family members.
2. My part-time job efforts in high school.
3. The Doors I have opened.
4. My Dreams and Inspiration.
5. Learning for the best - how (person) changed my life.
6. The person who is influenced by views.
7. Goals I will achieve in 10 years.
8. What differentiates you from the hundreds of students who apply for our scholarships?
9. How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally?
10. What makes a good doctor?

Scholarship Essay Tips

Scholarship Essay Tips

Follow the given tips to make your essay stand out

  1. Choose a topic you are passionate about.
  2. Follow a narrative structure.
  3. Re-read the essay prompt and identify the key themes. 
  4. Outline your essay before writing.
  5. Make sure your outline does justice to your scholarship essay prompt.
  6. Look out for grammatical errors.
  7. Add your real-life experiences.
  8. Talk about your accomplishments without bragging too much.
  9. Make sure your essay has a flow.
  10. Have someone with strong writing skills proofread your essay.

We hope this guide helped you find new ways to write your scholarship essay. This is your chance to show the scholarship committee what you have to deserve the scholarship. This is the most crucial part of your scholarship application, so please do not waste it. Good Luck!

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